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Making Capitalism Work: Social Capital and Economic Growth in Italy, 1970-1995

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  • Thomas P. Lyon

    (Indiana University)

Abstract

Using data on the 20 Italian regions for the period 1970-1995, I examine whether the presence of social capital, as reflected in a number of different measures collected by Putnam (1993), affects economic productivity. I find three types of effects. First, social capital, when treated as an input to regional production, has a positive and significant effect in the South, but a much weaker effect in the North. Second, some forms of social capital can significantly increase regions’ propensities to make physical capital investments; however, dense networks of association reduce capital investment in both the North and South. Instrumental variables estimates show that social capital affects growth both directly and through affecting investment in physical capital. Third, social capital contributes positively to the rate of total factor productivity growth in the Italian regions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.70.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.70

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Keywords: Social capital; Growth; Investment; Italy;

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  1. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  3. Audretsch, David B & Vivarelli, Marco, 1996. " Firms Size and R&D Spillovers: Evidence from Italy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 249-58, June.
  4. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  5. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  6. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  8. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  10. Dowrick, Steve & Gemmell, Norman, 1991. "Industrialisation, Catching Up and Economic Growth: A Comparative Study across the World's Capitalist Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 263-75, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Emanuele Felice, 2013. "Regional income inequality in Italy in the long run (1871–2001). Patterns and determinants," UHE Working papers 2013_08, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.

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